Azerbaijan, Baku, June 7 /Trend H.Veliyev/
Construction work on the new railway Baku-Tbilisi-Kars has been accelerated, deputy minister of transport Musa Panahov said on Thursday.
"There were delays in carrying out construction work in Georgia due to weather conditions, but they are now moving speedily. Active work is also going on in Turkey. Construction in Georgia and rehabilitation work at the border with Turkey will be completed by the end of the year," the deputy minister said.
Delays he added were mainly connected with the construction of a tunnel on the Georgian-Turkish border which is around 4.5 kilometers.
"The presence of landslide areas in Georgia where a tunnel is being built caused certain adjustments in the process of its construction. This in turn caused some delays, but we will complete the construction of the railways before the end of the year," Panahov said.
The railway will be fully operational during the first half of 2013.
Creating a new rail link will see the construction, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Marabda-Akhalkalaki railway section (except for the station), as well as the construction work from Akhalkalaki to the Turkish border (Kartsakhi).
The reconstruction of Marabda-Akhalkalaki section is being carried out in three phases: Marabda-Tetritskaro section - 29.2 kilometres, Tetritskaro-Tsalka section - 49.7 kilometres and Tsalka- Akhalkalaki-- 74.1 kilometresю
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being built in accordance with the Georgian-Azerbaijan-Turkish interstate agreement.
Azerbaijan assigned a loan of $775 million for the construction of the railway's Georgian section. This project is financed by the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan in compliance with the order of the President of Azerbaijan 'On the Implementation of Measures on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Project' of February 21, 2007.
The railway's peak throughput capacity will see up to 17 million tons of cargo transported per year. At the initial stage, this indicator will be equivalent to one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.
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